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Billionaire accused of fraud is found in Stafford
Stanford was reportedly staying in a townhouse in the Heather Hills subdivision in southern Stafford. The home of interest has an American flag flying in front of it.
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|Click here to see the civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission|
By Edie Gross
FROM STAFF and WIRE REPORTS
Accused of cheating investors out of $8 billion, Texas financier R. Allen Stanford could've been anywhere when he dropped out of sight earlier this week.
He has extensive business ties in Latin America and the West Indies, and dual citizenship in the United States and the Virgin Islands.
He was even knighted in Antigua and Barbuda, where he resides and is better known as Sir Allen.
So where does a guy with those kinds of connections go to get away from it all?
Apparently, Stafford County.
That's where FBI agents from Richmond caught up with him yesterday after officials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked for help tracking him down, according to FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.
Stanford, 58, has not been criminally charged with anything. But FBI agents served the billionaire and cricket enthusiast with the SEC's civil claim against him, alleging $8 billion in fraud against as many as 50,000 investors in 131 countries.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an FBI agent staked out a location in the Fredericksburg area, then spotted Stanford about 1:45 p.m. in a car driven by Stanford's girlfriend.
The agent spoke to Stanford, who was riding in the passenger side, the official said. The agent handed Stanford the SEC complaint, a federal court order freezing Stanford's assets and another order naming a receiver.
Stanford told the agent he understood and would make arrangements to surrender his passport, the official said.
Authorities have said they do not believe Stanford was trying to hide from law enforcement.
CNBC tracked Stanford to a home in the Heather Hills neighborhood of Stafford County late last night. According to county property records, the home belongs to a Bryan Stoelker.
British news reports have identified Andrea Stoelker, a former Stafford County resident, as Stanford's girlfriend and president of the board of directors of a cricket tournament that Stanford sponsors in Antigua.
She graduated in 1996 from Stafford High School, where she was active in sports and academic clubs, according to the school yearbook.
CNBC said the FBI served the papers while the couple was in the driveway of the southern Stafford home.